The Lost Coast
The same friendly NOAA forecasters who explained to us about the Stratus Surge also told us about a pair of winter-type rainstorms that were coming our way. South winds and rain discourage southbound sailors. So we decided to take a break from the boat, and explore the coastline by land.
We decided to explore the Lost Coast. This is the sixty odd miles of the California coast south of Eureka which remains virtually undeveloped. There is no Highway 1 here; Highway 101 runs through the Redwoods, a good twenty to thirty miles inland, and only a few fairly primative roads provide access. The King Range has some of the tallest peaks along the California coast, and the mountains seem to push out into the ocean, as at Cape Mendocino (the westernmost point in the lower 48 states) and its neighbor Punta Gorda. The image above is the view south from the base of Cape Mendocino.
We drove the length of the area, through ranch land and forests, and then stayed for two nights at Shelter Cove, a resort and fishing community south of both the capes. The beaches here are at the base of massive cliffs, and are made up of black rock or black sand, a hint of the origin of the nearby mountains in volcanic activity. Under gray skies, with fog or rain, this is a somber place, awesome and very, very wild.